Summer 2015       |      Cindi A. Christenson, Registrar      |      Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor


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To fulfill its consumer protection mission, CSLB's Enforcement division — with the help of partnering state agencies and local law enforcement — works hard to hold accountable those contractors who harm the public through illegal business practices.

Glare of Public Spotlight Cast upon L.A. Unlicensed Contractor

Barry Earnest Walker was singled out by the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office as an example of a predatory unlicensed contractor being brought to justice during a widely publicized news conference on June 8, 2015, in Los Angeles. Walker skipped out on a 2010 CSLB fine for a contracting violation, but was caught four years later and successfully prosecuted in May 2015 for his second, separate case in Los Angeles that involved an elderly homeowner.


Officials from CSLB, the Los Angeles City
Attorney's Office, and other agencies jointly
announced a crackdown on unlicensed operators.

CSLB's investigation revealed that Walker, doing business as B&R Beautiful Home, took almost $85,000 from the elder victim to make home improvements that included handicapped-accessible modifications. Walker allegedly performed substandard work and ultimately abandoned the project, costing the victim tens of thousands of dollars to correct and complete.

Walker was ordered to perform 30 days of community labor, given a three-year probation term, and ordered to pay $61,620 in victim restitution.

Walker first ran afoul of CSLB when he was cited in 2010 for unlicensed contracting, stemming from a $57,630 construction contract in Inglewood. He was fined $1,600 for his actions, but never paid the judgment. The case was turned over to the state Franchise Tax Board and a collections agency.

Long Prison Term, Restitution Ordered for Repair Job that Hit the Roof

A licensed contractor who turned a roof repair into a $1.3 million project at the home of an elderly Ojai man won't be upselling any construction work for a while. Mark Loren Adams, of Ventura, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a Ventura County Superior Court judge in May after pleading guilty to seven felonies in connection with the 2009 case.

Adams, who held "B" General Building and C-39 Roofing licenses, originally contracted to repair the roof of the Ventura County home. But within three months, the victim paid Adams more than three-quarters of a million dollars for 17 more contracts at the home. Adams had accepted full payment of $775,000 and had demanded an additional $523,000 before the victim's family began to ask questions.

Instead of providing an accounting, Adams filed a mechanics lien on the home for additional payment. A complaint filed with CSLB in August 2012 grew into a joint investigation with the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, resulting in the filing of criminal charges against Adams.

The investigation revealed Adams hired mostly unlicensed workers for the job, and failed to obtain building permits. A CSLB industry expert concluded that only $393,000 of work had been done. Adams eventually admitted to felonies that included elder theft, obtaining money by false pretenses, diversion of construction funds, filing a fraudulent instrument (lien), with "white collar" enhancement for a crime exceeding $500,000 in value. In addition to the prison sentence, the judge ordered Adams to pay the victim $1,266,689 in restitution.

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